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When it comes to liveable cities in Australia, Melbourne is always near the top of the list. With a dynamic economy, a diverse population of over 4 million, and its trendy riverside lifestyle, Aussie’s second-biggest city is always popular with South African expats. Let’s find out why.


Home to people of all cultures

One of the biggest challenges of emigration is finding a city where you feel at home – and Melbourne is popular with people from across the world. With more than 140 cultures represented in its many communities, this city really opens its arms to people from abroad.

Famous for having the biggest Greek population outside Greece, Melbourne is also home to many people of Italian origin, as well as a thriving Asian population with roots in China, Vietnam, and Southeast Asian nations.

The multicultural feeling in Melbourne is a reminder of home for South Africans, and the tolerance and peace between Melbourne’s cultural groups creates a great environment for living, working and enjoying the city.

It all happens on the banks of the Yarra

If you’re thinking of moving to Melbourne, one of the first places you need to know about is the Yarra river. Most of Melbourne’s top spots are built around its banks, with great water views from the city’s restaurants and parks and watersports offering exciting weekend entertainment.

Down under’s music capital

Melbourne is known as Australia’s music capital, and whether you love rock, opera, jazz or cutting-edge electronic music, there’s definitely a music group and great venue in the city that will suit you perfectly.

Some of the country’s most famous bands, including Temper Trap and the Bad Seeds, were born in Melbourne – and you’ll have an unforgettable time discovering all the musical talent that the city has to offer.

A paradise for book lovers

If you love good books, you’re in luck. Melbourne is known as a literary capital, with annual book festivals, literature fairs, and a list of famous authors that include Thomas Browne, Markus Clarke, and Peter Carey – not to mention the hundreds of writers who call Melbourne home today.

Melbourne’s citizens are so keen on reading that they’ve racked up two major titles: the Australian city that borrows the most books from local libraries, and the prestigious UNESCO City of Literature title that the city received in 2008.

A great place to work

Melbourne has the second-highest income in Australia after Sydney – with a lower cost of living and more relaxed lifestyle. This combination of good salaries and plenty of leisure activities makes Melbourne for career-oriented people who like to unwind in their spare time.

Like Johannesburg, Melbourne started out as a gold rush town. The city is still proud of its mining industry, which remains strong to this day. As times changed, Melbourne embraced the finance, media, retail, and research sectors – and these provide high-paying jobs for Australians and immigrants with the right skills.

If you have good qualifications and a dynamic work ethic, Melbourne may be the ideal place to look for a job. There are even positions that you can apply for from SA through an employment agency.

Moving to Melbourne – what you need to know

If you’re thinking of moving to Melbourne, there are a few things you should bear in mind. From weather conditions to the cost of accommodation, it’s always best to know what you’re in for before you arrive. Here’s the low-down on making Melbourne your new home.

Mild weather and a temperate climate

Compared to Australia’s sunnier states, Melbourne’s Victoria region can be a bit chilly – especially during the winter months. Prepare for wind, rain, and sometimes hail during the cold season, and you’ll have an easy time adapting to the weather there.

On the plus side, Melbourne doesn’t get unbearably hot in summer. You’ll be able to enjoy outdoor life without overheating, whether you’re trying your hand at river sports or attending a rugby match at the rectangular stadium in AAMI Park.

It’s easy to get around

If you’re used to driving everywhere, you can take a backseat in Melbourne and enjoy the city’s extensive tram network. With excellent bus services in most areas, there are plenty of Melbourne residents who choose not to drive on a daily basis.

Accommodation is affordable – if you know where to look

Compared to most big cities in the developed world, accommodation in Melbourne isn’t too expensive. Coming from South Africa, you may find that the space available in downtown Melbourne is smaller than you’re used to, but you should be able to rent an apartment for $400 a week if you take your time and look at all your options.

If you’re ready to make the move to Melbourne, check out our affordable flights today.

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